Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The "Fortnight"

Its full title is "Fortnight for Freedom." It began on June 21. What we're talking about here is two weeks of "non-stop nationwide teaching, preaching and public events to press" what the US Roman Catholic bishops are calling "freedom of religion." What the bishops are all exercised about is a requirement in the new healthcare law that institutions provide free contraception insurance coverage. Now, never mind the contraception is an issue that Catholics really don't give a hoot about for the most part. Never mind that the Obama administration has offered a workable compromise on the issue. And, oh, let's not mind that the bishops are denying this campaign has anything to do with partisan politics.

They have been forced to deny it of course because the secular press has been all over them. Why?  because to any normal person the fortnight for freedom looks like a nationwide "Vote Republican" exercise. It certainly does to me. The bishops claim it's about religious freedom, but if you'll pardon my saying so, that's a load of crap. In the same issue of USA Today that ran a story about the Fortnight, there is another story reporting that in the Philadelphia trial of Monsignor William Lynn, accused of facilitating the transfer of pedophile priests in that diocese, had not yet reached a verdict. This guy served as the Chancellor of the archdiocese, and of course he's the fall guy for the real criminal, the archbishop. And thus it's been all over the United States, the bishops have steadfastly refused to own up to their crimes. And these very same guys are now telling us about religious freedom! Give me a frigging break.

The local Catholic paper here in Oklahoma is full of Fortnight stuff. The local bishop* is careful to say that the debate is "not about contraception . . . not about religious freedom for Catholics only . . . not about the Church attempting to force anyone to do anything . . . not a fight that the Church asked for, but one which is been forced upon us by the federal mandate." And let's not forget the mandatory statement: "This is neither a partisan issue, nor liberal or conservative issue, but an American issue." 

What pious nonsense. What it all boils down to is supporting the Health Care Act is a blow to religious liberty, which is un-American, and which means you should vote for the party and candidate opposed to the affordable care act.

*You can find the entire statement here.
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